The City of Summerside is tapping into a new water source with the construction of a well field.

The five wells are being built along a 1 km stretch between Bayview Drive and MacKenzie Drive near P.E.I. Ocean View Resort & Golf.

Work is ahead of schedule and on budget.

"Critically important," said Bill Martin, mayor of Summerside. "Our original wells, we have several in the city, but a couple of main wells are at about 60 per cent capacity, so we recognized the need to address that. With the new federal infrastructure waste and well water projects, we were able to tap into some significant funding to help us do it."

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Work is ahead of schedule on the digging of several trenches between Bayview Drive and MacKenzie Drive. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

A significant portion of the funding for the $2.6 million project, which includes pipe to connect the new line to the existing pipeline, is coming from the federal and provincial government, .

"This has been on our radar screen and once the new infrastructure dollars evolved, we jumped into it and jumped on it. Our tech services folks designed it, and we put it out for tender, put it out for RFP's and it's well underway," Martin said.

"Wastewater and water isn't sexy, it isn't pretty. Some of the pipes underneath the ground in the city are 120 years old. They need to be fixed, they need to be replaced. The entire system over a period of time needs to be upgraded to current code so on and so forth. Everybody wants, needs, and has a right to ... clean water," Martin added.

Bill Martin

Summerside Mayor Bill Martin said the new well field will ensure a stable supply of good, clean, drinkable water for years to come. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

'Present site is fine'

Bruce MacDougall, the chair of the technical services committee, said the aim of the new well is to have water flowing through the pipeline as soon as it's needed.

"By securing our new well fields site and having that ready to go at anytime is going to be a great ease on the city, but it's also to put in place for future development too, but the present site is fine and it's operating fine," he said.

The city is hoping that once the piping has been put in place, a parcel of land between the well field and the existing golf course will be developed into a subdivision.


The City of Summerside says water is a top priority and that the well field is necessary for future development. (Yvon Theriault/CBC)

"New subdivisions are critical to the ultimate development and growth for any city, but our city is no different than any other city," said Martin.

"The well fields will enable the city to relax in terms of the long term security of its water system, and ensure residents, both residential, new residential and commercial, that water and wastewater is not going to be an issue," Martin added.

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Summerside's existing well field is operating at 60 per cent capacity. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The well field is scheduled to be completed by next spring or early summer.